As members are aware, the Reporting Services Branch sent an email communication to staff on 30 August 2018 including an expression of interest to Court Reporters to be part of a pilot to test the use of remote monitoring technology.
The inclusion of Court Reporters in a pilot to test remote monitoring technology has never been previously raised with the PSA and it was not mentioned at the Joint Consultative Committee on 27 August 2018.
The PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission which was listed for conciliation on 21 September 2018.
The PSA has the following concerns about the expression of interest and the proposal to include Court Reporters in any pilot of remote monitoring technology:
- The Department has breached its consultation obligations to the PSA and its members, including its obligation to provide relevant information about matters that impact upon our members
- The use of remote monitoring technology has never been part of the Court Reporter role and the proposed pilot involves a significant change to the role and work practices
- The expansion of remote monitoring technology to Court Reporters is likely to result in significant de-skilling and potential change to job design
- The proposal will impact upon the operation of same courts and there does not appear to have been appropriate consultation with key stakeholders
- There are work, health and safety and logistical issues which the Department does not appear to have considered.
The PSA raised its concerns during the conciliation and the Commission made the following recommendations:
- That the Department provide full details on what is proposed to occur during the trial by close of business on Friday, 12 October 2018
- That the PSA prepare a written critique of the proposed trial by close of business on Friday, 26 October 2018
- The issues raised by both sides be the subject of discussion at the JCC meeting scheduled on the following Monday
- That the matter be the subject of a report back before Commissioner Murphy at 10.00am on Friday, 2 November 2018
- The trial not proceed before the matter comes back before the Commissioner – until all this consultation has occurred.
The PSA invites your feedback about this important issue and will update members when there is any development.